Media Contact: Eric Berman - 781-839-5507 - eberman@marealtor.com

Notes from the MAR Legal Hotline

by Michael McDonagh - MAR General Counsel, Justin Davidson - MAR Legislative & Regulatory Counsel | Dec 28, 2016
Recently Governor Baker requested that all state agencies review their regulations. Here are some of the regulatory amendments that you should be aware of:
527 CMR 1: Massachusetts Comprehensive Fire Safety Code

Amendments: New regulations require owners of single- or multi-family homes built prior to 1975 to replace expired and nonworking smoke detectors with new ones equipped with a 10-year sealed battery. Fire departments will be checking for compliance when they conduct pre-transfer inspections.

Effective Date:
December 1, 2016

MAR’s Involvement:
Testified before Board of Fire Prevention Regulations on August 4, 2016. Other Information: Because specific requirements on smoke detectors and carbon monoxide detectors vary among homes based on when the home was built or permitted, it is important to check with your local building or fire department for detailed guidance. More information can also be found on the Department of Public Safety’ Smoke Alarm Regulations website: http://www.mass.gov/eopss/agencies/dfs/osfm/fire-prev/smoke-alarm-regulations.html.

254 CMR 7.00: Apartment Rentals
Amendments: Until now, regulations governing apartment rentals were ambiguous as to whether a tenant fee disclosure form was required for all rentals, or only for those where a tenant would be required to pay a fee. Due to MAR’s efforts, the regulations were updated to clarify that the disclosure form is only required in instances where a
tenant is required to pay a fee. 

Effective Date:
Immediately MAR’s Involvement: Testified on before the Division of Professional Licensure on June 13, 2016.
Other Information: As a reminder, the disclosure must include:

1. Whether the prospective tenant will pay a fee for rental services;
2. The amount of the fee;
3. The manner and time when the fee is due to be paid;
4. Whether or not the fee will be payable regardless if a tenancy is not created;
5. The signature of the broker or salesperson, including license number and date of notice; and 
6. The signature of the prospective tenant, or notation of refusal to sign. The fee disclosure must be kept on file by the broker for three years and is subject to audit by the Board. For more information, please visit: http://www.mass.gov/ocabr/licensee/dplboards/re/regulations/faq-regs.html

105 CMR 460.000: Lead Poisoning Prevention and Control
Proposed Amendments: The proposed amendments include the following: lowering the threshold Blood Lead Level (BLL) defining lead poisoning from 25μg/dL to 10μg/dL; requiring venous blood lead testing to confirm initial capillary test levels of 5 micrograms of lead per deciliter of blood or greater (≥5 μg/dL); and removing the deleading standard for a small number of surfaces, specifically some surfaces currently
considered “accessible/mouthable,”which could substantially reduce deleading costs.

The amendments also propose cutting unnecessary regulatory requirements and deleting other provisions that will instead be covered through policy and guidance documents, and clarify and reorganize sections to improve readability.

Effective Date: The proposed amendments are still under review and could go into effect, if approved, as early as winter 2017.

MAR’s Involvement: Served on the Governor’s Advisory Committee for the Lead Poisoning Prevention Program, which reviewed the proposed amendments.
Other information: Please visit: http://www.mass.gov/eohhs/gov/laws-regs/dph/proposed-regulations/lead-regulations.html.